Olli Schulz: No Lobby for Livemusic
Fest & Flauschig with Olli Schulz and Jan Böhmermann is the most successful German-language podcast on Spotify with over 100,000 listeners. In the Sunday episode of September 20, 2020 (50:30), Olli Schulz addresses a serious topic that has always preoccupied us and for which none of us have a simple answer: Why is there no strong lobby for live music? In the case of the Corona crisis, the cultural scene wasn’t able to find a solution with state support, such as that achieved by the cooking and gastronomy sector in Germany. “Musicians just don’t have a great lobby – and it’s our own fault – for all the shit that’s going on right now”, says Olli Schulz.
A Fragmented Industry
The scene is too fragmented and the industry is divided into large companies. The big dilemma of the cultural scene is that there is no real community. “There are clubs where I play where the guy does it out of passion and never makes a plus and pays his rent,” says the musician Schulz. “Maybe we are a little too competitive. But a lot of small shops where big things are supposed to be built are dying!”. In this context, it is “sad to see” that musicians do not have a strong lobby. “Right now the last bit of small culture is really dying away!” In this precarious situation, there would be prominent, well-known advocates for the music scene, the artists and clubs – someone like Tim Mälzer, who appears at Markus Lanz in tears and draws attention to the gastronomic needs.
With a turnover of € 130 billion, the event industry is the sixth largest branch of industry in Germany. It has over a million employees – the majority of them so-called solo self-employed small businesses with their own risk without a double bottom or any safety net. Someone who has tried to give the live industry a voice is Herbert Grönemeyer – Germany’s most commercially successful contemporary musician.
Herbert Grönemeyer: Magician available
On September 9th, he gave a fiery speech at the Red Alert Demo to save the event industry (red alert demands here): “A country without live culture is like a brain without spiritual nourishment – without euphoria, departure, desire , Discourse, laughter and dance. It withers, leaves room for idleness, for crude and brutal theories, hardenes and soulless falls apart.” The event industry is “the rushing soul and the open heartbeat of the nation” and Germany is “putting its magic at risk and its magicians at risk” if the industry is not adequately supported during the crisis.
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Question to the gigmit Community: Own fault?
Are the little artists and organizers not heard? Who could be her voice? Can the Berlin CLUBCOMMISSION, which with its now internationally successful corona project “United We Stream” recently received a VUT Indie Award (VIA) as “Best New Music Business” at the Reeperbahn Festival, serve as a good lobby model? What kind of lobby do you want? How do you want to be saved from Corona? How do you want to fight yourself? Who for whom? Is there a common sense in the music scene or does the elbow mentality secretly dominate?
The gigmit community is over 130,000 solo acts, bands, DJs and organizers. That’s why we ask directly and want to hear your voices.
Discuss with us on Facebook in the comments of this post. Or write your statement here.
We look forward to your input!